Maybe you needed this reminder this Christmas?

I wanted to post an upbeat and cheerful, “Merry Christmas from our family” type post. And yet, I keep thinking of the many for whom Christmas is just bittersweet… or maybe plain sad.

I think of the kids in foster care who are separated from their parents and families this year.

I think of the women who have written me in the last few weeks about losing their husbands this year.

I think of the singles who thought surely they’d be sharing this Christmas with a special someone.

I think of the families who are struggling financially who couldn’t really afford to do much for Christmas this year.

I think of the moms who lost babies this year and the women who so desperately wish for a healthy pregnancy.

I think of the couples whose marriages are on the brink of divorce or whose spouse walked out on them this year for someone or something else.

I think of the families with estranged loved ones who would give anything to get to celebrate with them this year — or even to just hear something from them.

I think of those undergoing chemo, those waiting for a difficult diagnosis, those who are in chronic pain, those caring for a loved one who is dying.

I just want you to know that if you are struggling with sadness or heartache or disappointment this Christmas, I see you. You are not forgotten. You are not alone. And I’m pausing in the middle of this week to remember you, to hurt for you, and to pray for you. You are not forgotten.

And if you are having a wonderful Christmas season, I’m thrilled for you! But please remember to look around and show some extra love and kindness toward those for whom Christmas feels anything like the, “most wonderful time of the year.” The world could use a lot more kindness, empathy, and compassion.

P.S. If you are struggling this Christmas season, it would be my honor to stop and pray for you by name. Just leave a comment with your name and/or special request and I will take time to pray for you this week. Even in the middle of your pain and darkness, I want you to know that you are loved.

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